What is Hot Clone and How to Clone a running VMware

Posted by @Ada

November 1, 2017

Hot clone is a very useful technology to clone system or disk without interrupting running applications. Here you’ll learn how to perform a hot clone in VMware.

What is hot clone?

Hot clone is a technology enables you to clone system and disk without interrupting or shutting down Windows and other running applications.

It is a cloning method that takes place while the server OS is running. This is a very useful feature especially when you have lots of services you need to configure and you do not want to manually re-enter all the information.

Hot clone vs. cold clone

Speaking of clone, there are two methods can be used basically. One is cold clone and another is hot clone. There is some difference between hot clone and cold clone. When running a cold clone, the server’s OS is not running. It is from a boot CD or Windows PE and it is performed when the database is offline.

When running a hot clone, the server OS is running. You can clone system or disk when you are working.In a hot cloning transition, the physical server remains online while the disk image is being created and uploaded onto one of the newly established virtual servers.

By keeping the physical server active during the transition, the workflow is not disrupted, which means that the process has lower costs in terms of lost productive hours for employees and managers. All the data is accessible.

For those whose system is frequently running, a hot cloning is the best solution.

Hot cloning software

AOMEI Backupper Professional is a reliable disk cloning software. When you are working on the computer, you can rest assured to clone, it will not interrupt your work. Also, it allows you to run system, disk, partition clone. You can clone hard drive to SSD to upgrade disk. Or you can only migrate OS to SSD/HDD to improve the performance of the computer.

Hot clone a running virtual machine

Some people would like to migrate Virtual machine to physical machine. Hot cloning can be of great help. Hot cloning is particularly useful for troubleshooting a mission-critical VM without taking it offline. With hot cloning, you can make a clone, diagnose the problem on the clone and then apply the solution to the VM.

Let’s see how to clone a running Virtual machine.

Step 1: Download AOMEI Backupper and installed it on VMware. In the left tab page, select the Clone option and then select System clone.

Step 2: AOMEI Backupper will select System automatically for you. Select the destination disk to which the source disk will be cloned, and click Next.

Destination Disk

Note: The destination disk and all existing data on the destination disk will be overwritten. If needed, backup the diskfirst.

Step 3: Confirm the information of your source and destination disk. Under the lower page, set desired advanced settings as follows:

Hot Clone

Under the lower part of Operation Summary, there are some advanced settings you can set up.

Edit partitions on this disk: Manually adjust the partition size and location by dragging a slider bar. If you do not want to leave unallocated space on destination disk, you can click this option to edit.

Sector by sector clone: Copies all sectors of the disk to the destination disk whether in use or not. The destination disk size must be equal to or larger than the source disk. Usually, to save destination disk space, there is no need to tick this option.

Intelligent Clone only clones the used space of source location. With it, you can clone large disk to smaller hard disk only if the target location is no small than the used space on the source disk. If you do not tick sector by sector clone, AOMEI Backupper will adopt intelligent clone by default.

Align partition to optimize for SSD: If your destination disk is SSD, it is highly recommended you tick this option to optimize the performance of the SSD.

Finally, click Start Clone. Wait for the process to complete and then click Finish. 

Now you can use this virtual machine on a physical machine. You only need to change the boot order to the target disk in BIOS before trying to boot from it. Or, you can just replace the source drive with the target one.

Hot clone can be used in both physical machine and virtual machine. If you want to clone a running machine, it is the best solution. With AOMEI Backupper, it becomes an easy operation.

AOMEI Backupper is also a reliable backup and restore tool. You can schedule an automatically backup in Windows and automatically delete old backups. Restoring to a dissimilar computer is also an easy operation with it.